Tasks of legislative staff in the EP vary the most given their administrative affiliation (i.e. officials in the General Secretariat, political group advisors or APAs) and committee specialisation (i.e. committee related work). Policy specialisation and rank are less important factors in a statistical sense.
Findings on the Scale of legislative Assistance (multiple regression analysis):
Individual tasks (cross-tabultion, statistically significant findings):
Drafting amendments is a (very) frequent activity for 65 per cent of all the staff. Women and APAs are more likely to draft amendments than others.
There are no statistically significant differences among staff in how frequently they draft reports in the EP, i.e. neither organisational structures, demographic characteristics nor working attitudes capture the variations in the frequency of drafting reports.
Advice on procedure
Advising on procedures is more frequent for political advisors and General Secretariat officials than APAs. The likelihood for providing advice on procedures increases with the working tenure and mobility within the EP.
Advice on how to vote
Secretariat officials are unlikely to advise MEPs on the votes in committees and/or plenary sittings. On the other hand, more than ninety per cent of political group advisors and two thirds of APAs reported to frequently advice MEPs on the vote in committee or plenary sittings. Hence, it is not surprising that the likelihood to provide advice on a vote increases when staff are members of a political party (i.e. in particular political group advisors reported to be members of a political party compared to APAs and General Secretariat officials). Giving advice on the vote is the only activity that co-varies with the citizenship of staff, i.e. staff with citizenship of one of the countries that joined the EU before 2004 reported to give advice on the position to take more frequently than others.
General Secretariat officials working in committees, political group advisors and APAs, who follow the work of committees, are less likely to provide MEPs with legal advice. Data also shows that PhD-holders and law graduates provide legal advice more frequently than others.
Staff are in general infrequently involved in inter-institutional negotiations (i.e. with the European Commission, Council of the EU, etc.). Employment in a political group and party membership increase the likelihood to participate in intra-institutional negotiations (i.e. negotiation in the EP between political groups, MEPs, etc.). Those individuals who frequently coordinate the positions among MEPs are also more likely to participate intra and inter-institutional negotiations. Political group advisors are the most frequently involved in inter- and intra-institutional negotiations. Compared to General Secretariat Officials, APAs are more frequently involved in intra-institutional. The situation is inverted in inter-institutional negotiations. Working experience in the EP and membership in a political party increase the likelihood to be involved in negotiations. While the level of education is important for intra-institutional negotiations (i.e. holders of a PhD tend to be less frequently involved than other), it has no effect on inter-institutional negotiations.
APAs perform research for MEPs more frequently than General Secretariat’s officials and political group advisors. Committee staff and policy departments staff of the General Secretariat are equally involved in research activities.There is statistical evidence that women perform research more frequently than men.
Contribute to policy ideas
Political group advisors and APAs report in greater number to (very) frequently contribute to policy ideas than officials of the General Secretariat. Moreover, staff working on economic/scientific policies are more frequently asked to contribute to policy ideas than other. Those who work in structural/cohesion affairs or budgetary issues contribute to policy ideas the least frequently.
Organise activities for MEPs
General Secretariat officials and APAs organise activities for MEPs more frequently than political group advisors. In addition, social sciences graduates and staff working on foreign affairs report to more frequently organise activities for MEPs than others. Data also shows that political groups advisors and APAs working for the ECR political group are less frequently involved in the organisation of activities than others.
APAs and women are more likely to attend meetings than others.